§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
How to Survive So Much Togetherness with Your Loved Ones
The idea of having uninterrupted time with my husband and three kids was a dream until it actually happened.
We had dinner together as a family every single night. We spent a lot of time together on the weekends. We traveled the world together four months per year, often sharing adventures and close quarters.
I thought we were in pretty good shape to be on lockdown together.
I even thought that would be one of the gifts of this whole experience. My husband would no longer travel. My oldest came home from school. The five of us would have lots of uninterrupted time to connect, play board games, rest and catch up with ourselves and each other.
Hah! The reality became evident within 48 hours.
“I’m bored. There’s nothing to do. How long are we going to be stuck here? I miss my _____________ (horses, cats, room, stuffed animals).
The kids started complaining in full force. And then came the fighting. And don’t even get me started on the teenagers’ attitudes.
Truth to tell, we adults, still have tons to do – work, cook, clean and sort out logistics as we basically set up life in a country we left over eight years ago. Plus, we have never lived in Florida. Our former life was up north in Boston and Florida often seems like a different sunny country altogether.
But we are completely off our routines and away from our anchors.
I quickly realized that we had to create these in order to keep our sanity and not only survive, but thrive, in so much togetherness.
Here’s what we are doing:
1. Established routines
We started going to bed at the same time as we do at home. A definite gift of this situation is that we no longer set alarms to get up but instead, give our body the rest that it needs. We adults sleep 9 hours each and every night and the kids sleep even longer. Routines and enough sleep keep everybody’s tempers in check.
We have regular mealtimes and work/study online times. We have play times.
2. Got back to eating healthy.
We were in vacation mode for a while, drinking coffee and eating our favorite American treats (mostly from Trader Joes). Now that we realized that we are going to be here for a few months or longer, it was important to cut back on the sugar and get back to green tea and lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. We feel better and are keeping our immune systems strong.
3. Made a chore chart and are enforcing it strictly.
Yep, this is real life and with everybody home, the clutter and dishes in the sink pile up quickly. I got tired of hearing “That’s not mine! Why do I have to do it? I did that yesterday.”
We are all in this together. Everybody is capable of contributing. My husband and I work to bring in the resources we need. The kids need to do their share. Everybody’s contribution is clearly spelled out on the list on the fridge. Not doing your work leads to natural consequences – lack of clean clothes, no food, etc.
4. Made dinner time fun and reconnecting.
We bbq every night, set the table and gather around to talk, laugh and discuss. We make it a point to not talk about the Coronavirus during dinner so we can keep meal times relaxed and as stress free as possible.
5. We keep Coronavirus talk to a minimum and are conscious of age appropriateness.
My husband and I talk about it freely to discuss strategies for self-imposed quarantine and future plans. We have, however, made the decision to stop over-analyzing it and processing it to death. We also discuss it with the teens as needed and try to minimize any conversation around our 9-year old.
6. We try to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
We are fortunate enough to be self-quarantined in a place where we can be out in our backyard. The weather is pleasant and the trees and grass fill our spirits. There is nothing like nature to bring us back to balance.
7. Be flexible.
This one can be tough when we’re stuck in a house together. We try to remember that everybody likes things their own way, not just each of us. We all need to relax and allow for things to not go the way we want all the time. I need to adjust and work from different spaces in the house depending on the needs of other family members. I need to let go of what clean and organized looks like for me (because it certainly looks different to my husband!) I need to rearrange my projects to help homeschool my youngest daughter. I need to accept interruptions to my routines more gracefully.
The kids are becoming more responsible and organized. We are all learning more about ourselves and each other. We are learning resilience which will serve everybody for life. We are setting up more empowered patterns that we can use for when life returns to whatever the normal will be after Coronavirus.
9. Be responsible for yourself and your energy.
We make sure to carve out some time each and every day to keep up with our self-care practices. We exercise, meditate, journal and do energy balancing exercises. Whatever helps us keep our center. We do some of these with the kids or each other. And for some, I need some blessed alone time. I give this gift to myself and to my whole family. A centered woman is one everybody wants to be around and best of all, l feel much better, more grounded, grateful and optimistic.
10. When all else fails, we remember to breathe deeply.
What about you? What are you doing to survive so much togetherness with your loved ones?
I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below.
P.S. Just a quick reminder that I will be teaching the free TAME YOUR ANXIETY & THRIVE IN DIFFICULT TIMES Masterclass on Thursday, April 2nd!
In this 1 hour FREE masterclass, you’ll learn:
– Powerful tools to manage & transform your anxiety
– Energetic techniques to release fear & anxiety and step into inner peace
– Practices to help you feel your best in your body, mind and spirit
– Self soothing techniques to get back to center no matter what’s going on around you!
The masterclass will be live on Thursday, April 2nd at 2 pm EST (New York) but I will also send out the recording to anybody who signs up.